In our institute the professor dispatches papers to certain employees(research fellows/assistants who are graduates or have a PhD degree) for peer reviewing. The professor takes responsibility for the reviews, still I wonder if this is the way the review process is meant to be.


Without making it known to the journal that he is not actually writing the review it is (usually, as far as I know) not supposed to be like this.

Here is one example, a quote from the PLOS One reviewer's guidelines:


Reviewers are required to treat all submitted manuscripts in strict confidence and should not share information about submissions with any other parties unless previously agreed with the editor. The involvement of a third party in the review must be declared at the time of the submission of the review.

If you ask the editor before you are sharing the publication with someone else, it can be okay. I have been "co-reviewing" with someone else (not my supervisor at that time), which was known to the editor and our names were both attached to the review.

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    it is (usually, as far as I know) not supposed to be like this" - I think that is very context-dependent. Venues that send batches of 20 papers to single professors, to be reviewed within a few weeks, should not realistically have any expectation that said professors will indeed review all of these papers themselves. It is possible the respective venues do not use the formulation about confidentiality you indicate above, though. Jul 10 '17 at 10:35
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    Just to add a clarification for the original poster, most likely the professor is disclosing who reviewed the paper. "The professor takes responsibility for the reviews" does not necessarily mean that the professor is claiming that they reviewed the papers. For a conference I am PCing for at the moment, it is simply that if I delegate a review I take the ultimate responsibility for its quality. Moreover, delegating reviews in general is not only normal, but also professors should do it (in many fields) for the benefit of their PhDs. Jul 10 '17 at 10:37
  • @O.R.Mapper In my field, conference articles are not actually peer-reviewed (only the abstracts are) and I know of no other setting where batch reviews would be sent out, so I based my answer on a peer-review for a journal article. And of course, not all venues have formulations about confidentiality, that's why I added the "usually".
    – skymningen
    Jul 10 '17 at 10:51
  • @ThomasKing That's where I wanted to get at, that there is a difference between "taking authorship" (not good) and "taking responsibility" (but delegating) of the review.
    – skymningen
    Jul 10 '17 at 10:52
  • @skymningen: I agree (with both comments), although (probably also field-dependently), "review authorship" may or may not be considered irrelevant. I have meanwhile discovered I had already written all that in an answer on a very closely related (duplicate?) question, so I might remove my comment if this question gets closed as a duplicate. Jul 10 '17 at 10:56

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